Gretchen Metz Staff Writer Printed on 10/16/02 of the West Chester
Daily Local News
WESTTOWN - Thaddeus Fortin sighs when he’s asked, what do
you do for a living? This is a complicated answer, according to
Fortin, chief executive at Haas Corp., which acquired the total
chemical management business of Radian International LLC of Austin,
Texas on Oct. 1 for an undisclosed amount. The combined company
operates as Haas TCM.
Unfortunately for Fortin, “what do you do”
is the usual question when, for instance, a stranger sits next to
him on an airliner.
“Then I hope it’s a long flight,”
says Fortin, who took over the front office at the chemical services
management company from his father, John J. Fortin, in 1996.
The 43-year-old Fortin explains the business like
this: Haas TCM operates like a general contractor.
General contractors hire subcontractors like plumbers,
electricians and carpenters to build homes and businesses.
Haas TCM’s clients- General Motors, Ford, Daimler-Chrysler,
Boeing, Raytheon, Southwest Airlines and disc-drive maker Seagate
Technologies - outsource chemical management duties to Haas. Haas
in turn, hires subcontractors to take care of its clients’
chemical procurement, management, safety, reporting and waste management
Interestingly, Haas TCM competitors - Henkel of Germany,
Castrol Oil and Quaker Chemical - are also Haas subcontractors.
Fortin expects the new combined company to post annual
revenues of $100 million this year and up to $125 million by 2003.
Haas TCM employs 250 workers, mostly on-site at clients’ locations.
About 30 employees work at the Haas TCM’s Westtown offices
where the company has been headquartered for four years.
The acquisition took three years to complete.
Totally integrating the two companies is estimated
to take 12-15 months. There will be no layoffs says Fortin, of Thornbury,
Chester County. The administration of Radian’s total chemical
management business was handled at the Radian corporate level so
there is no redundancy of corporate officers.
“We feel incredibly excited,” Fortin said
about the acquisition. “When you’re working on something
for three years and your successful…”
The acquisition expands Haas on several fronts.
Haas, a chemical management service provider principally
in the automotive industry, will now add Radian’s aerospace
and defense clients to its roster.
Also, Radian used Web-based technology for business
transactions. Rather than investing capital to upgrade to Web-based
transactions, Haas can now build on the technology that came with
the acquisition, Fortin said.
Fortin plans to grow Haas TCM by acquisition but stay
privately held. Fortin is currently looking at acquiring companies
in the semiconductor industry and an international conglomerate.
“A few are on our radar screen but nothing’s
going to happen in 2003,” Fortin said. “The only barrier
is getting good, qualified people and retaining them.”
Fortin’s father bought the business in 1975.
At the time the company was a manufacturer and distributor of metal
The industry changes by the late 1980s. By then, customers
wanted to outsource chemical management and Haas was invited to
take on chemical management work at auto plants, in addition to
Today, Haas TCM has 120 customers served in the United
States, Canada, Mexico, China, Argentina and Brazil. Offices are
planned for Ireland, Germany and South Korea in 2002.